The Willows by Algernon Blackwood

H. P. Lovecraft, called “The Willows”, by Algernon Blackwood, a great name by the way, the “best weird tale of all time”, you be the judge … In the early part of the Twentieth Century, two experienced young adventurers, decided to take a canoe trip, down the famous Danube River, during the summer, how glorious. Starting from its beginning, in the Black Forest, to the end, when the river reaches the Black Sea (a distant 2,000 miles away). The “Swede”, and the narrator, remain anonymous throughout the book. They have gone on similar adventures together, often, at first going , everything’s a lot of fun, camping outside, eating over a hot fire, living under a cozy tent, seeing the beautiful calm river, flow by. Until they are between the cities of, Vienna and Budapest, a swampy area, full of willow bushes, sticking their heads above the flooding stream, as they travel through. No people but themselves here, watching the Danube rising over both banks, landing on an island, after a vigorous effort, the two plan to rest on, overnight. Slowly the unnamed narrator, begins to feel uneasy, something alarming, the power of nature, how little we can do against it … And the willow bushes, everywhere, mile after mile, always moving, like animals, ready to attack, sucking the mighty river dry. But even more, a different world exists, a hidden area, an evil place, where we can’t get to, but know it’s there. Doomed, both men, see, in their eyes, but don’t say a word to each other, they know nothing will save them, in this remote isle. Are those dark shapes … going over the willow shrubs? And disappearing …

The wind blows hard, an inhuman sound arrives, gets closer, above and around the friends, the island is sinking, as the river rises. The canoe, somehow is found, with a hole in the bottom, they have crossed the forbidden zone. In the night, the fire is dying…Something is coming for them, soon….

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